Topics: Community Engagement, Arts and Culture

August 9, 2022

Arts Place, Inc.

Arts Place, Inc., an arts- and education-based organization with programming in Jay, Blackford, and Adams counties, has been announced as the inaugural recipient of the Ball State University Community Engagement for the Arts Grant. 

The Community Engagement for the Arts Grant is an annual competitive grant program offering 12-month funding of up to $35,000 to an external East Central Indiana community arts-focused organization or program. The funding is intended to support projects in any creative discipline that encourage public appreciation of art and education in the arts, promote diversity within the local arts community, and make the arts accessible to all. 

“We are proud to present Ball State University’s inaugural Community Engagement for the Arts Grant to Arts Place,” said Dr. Seth Beckman, dean of Ball State’s College of Fine Arts and member of the University’s Community Engagement for the Arts Grant selection committee. “At Ball State, in line with our strategic priorities, our University aspires to be internationally recognized for mobilizing and leading partnerships that revitalize and sustain our city and our region. We are excited to see how Arts Place utilizes this funding to deliver novel, engaging, and inclusive experiences to our communities.” 

Arts Place’s proposal aligned with Ball State’s commitment to engaging with the greater arts community of East Central Indiana by promoting broad participation and equitable access to the various community arts organizations in the region. With its funding, Arts Place plans to enhance access to arts education opportunities in the area through a series of artist residencies and other programming that will increase opportunities for participation and reach new audiences. 

“Arts Place has been offering arts education programs through CreativeWorks for nearly a half-century. Over the past decade, however, the revenue streams for many of these activities, especially artist residencies, has declined. As a result, most of our arts education activity has focused, by necessity, on the teaching of classes and lessons,” said Eric R. Rogers, chief executive officer and executive director at Arts Place. “Residency experiences, which attract a broader audience, have been extremely limited in recent years. This project will reintroduce the community to a broad range of community artist residencies that will attract a diverse audience, including populations often not reached through our classes and lessons. 

“We believe it is critical for rural communities to have access to all the arts,” Arts Place continued. “For that reason, Arts Place has offered a broad range of arts education experiences that include many different art forms. This project should be reflective of that approach.” 

Arts Place is also contributing its own resources to bolster the project’s personnel and operations, supplies and materials, equipment, marketing and promotion, and other direct costs. In all, the project is expected to top $100,000 in total funding, increasing by more than 50 percent the special arts education experiences Arts Place offers to the communities it serves. 

“The arts are transformative,” Mr. Rogers said. “They help us gain a new perspective, cause us to think outside the box, and experience the power of creative expression. Fundamentally, our goal is to impact the East Central Indiana communities we serve by providing unique experiences that stimulate such results—one person at a time. The arts provide ways to engage with our communities in a constructive and positive way.”